« PreviousContinue »
figures to which these narratives relate. Presently he desires to touch this sacred land; he thinks he sees, he does see, the Virgin beckon him: he sets out. As his wound is not yet healed, he goes on horseback, carrying with him, on his saddle, his girdle, sandals, and all the insignia of a pilgrim. On his way, he meets a Moor, with whom he disputes on the mystery of the Virgin. He is seized with a violent temptation to kill the Moor; he abandons the reins to the instinct of his horse. If he rejoin the unbeliever, he will kill him; if not, he will forget him. He thus begins by placing his conscience at the mercy of chance. At some distance, he dismisses his attendants, assumes the frock, and barefooted, continues his route. At Manrèze, he secludes himself in the hospital; he performs military watch before the altar of the Virgin, and hangs up his sword against a pillar in the chapel. He redoubles his macerations; his loins are girded with an iron chain; his bread is mingled with ashes; and the great Spanish lord begs from door to door in the streets of Manrèze. This does not satisfy the hunger of a heart eaten up by asceticism. Loyola retires to a cavern, where light only penetrates through a cleft in the rock. He here passes whole days, even weeks, without taking any nourishment: he is found in a fainting fit on the edge of a torrent. Despite all these penances, his mind is still troubled. Scruple, not doubt, besieges it; he subtilizes with himself; the same internal conflict that Luther braved at the moment of renouncing all, Loyola endures at the moment of preserving all. The disease goes so far, that the idea of suicide pursues him; in this internal conflict he groans, shouts aloud, and rolls himself on the ground. But his mind is not one of those that suffer themselves to be overcome at the first assault; Ignatius rises again; the vision of the Trinity, of the Virgin, who calls him her son, saves him from despair. In this cave at Manrèze, the feeling of his strength is revealed to him; he does not yet know what he shall do, he knows only that he hath to do something.
"A small merchant vessel takes him, on the score of charity, to Goëta. Behold him so far on his way to the Holy Land: in Italy, toiling and begging, he sees Rome, and creeps on to Venice. "It is too late," a voice exclaims to him, "the pilgrim's boat is gone." "No matter," replies Loyola; if vessels fail me, I will cross the sea on a plank." With this hot determination, it was not difficult to reach Jerusalem; he reaches it, barefooted, on the 4th of September, 1523. Stripped of almost everything, he strips himself yet closer to pay the tax to the Saracens for the privilege to see again and again the holy sepulchre. But at the moment when he grasps the limit of his wishes, a remoter boundary rises to his view. He desired only to touch these stones: now that he possesses them, he wants something else. Above the stone of the holy sepulchre, Christ appears to him in the air and signs to him to draw nearer. To call, to convert the nations of the east, is the fixed thought that awakes within him. Henceforth he has a positive mission; from the moment when his imagination has reached the desired end, another man is formed within Loyola. The imagination is quenched; reflection enlarges; mental zeal predominates over the love of the cross. The ascetic, the hermit, is transformed: the politician
"At the aspect of this deserted sepulchre, he understands that the calculations of the intellect can alone bring the world back to it. In this new crusade it is not the sword, it is the mind that will work the miracle. It is fine to see the last of the crusaders proclaim opposite to Calvary, that arms alone can no more do anything towards regaining believers; from this day his plan is made, his system prepared, his determination fixed. He knows nothing; he can scarcely write and read; in a few years he will know all that doctors can teach. And now behold the soldier, the amputated invalid, abandon his imaginary schemes, his asceticism, and to take his place amongst children in the elementary schools of Barcelona and Salamanca. The knight of Fera
dinand's court, the anchorite of the rocks of Manrèze, the free pilgrim of Mount Tabor, bends his apocalyptic spirit to grammar! What is this man, to whom the heavens were opened, doing? He learns conjugations; he spells Latin. This wonderful mastery over himself, amidst divine illuminations, already marks a new epoch.
"Yet the man of the desert still reappears in the scholar. He cures, it is said, the dying; he exorcises spirits; he did not become a child again so entirely but that the saint burst out at intervals. Besides, he professes some unknown sort of theology that no one has taught him, and that begins to give offence to the Inquisition. He is put in prison; he emerges from it on condition of not speaking again until he has studied four years in a regular theological college.
"This sentence decides him to go where knowledge attracted him, to the university of Paris. Is it not time for this mind, so slowly matured, to declare itself? Loyola is nearly thirtyfive years of age; what does he still wait for? This extraordinary scholar has for companions, in his college rooms at St. Barbe, two young men, Francis Xavier, and Peter le Fèvre. One is a shepherd from the Alps, ready to swallow powerful language: Loyola is cautious with him, and does not disclose his schemes to him until after three years of reserve and calculation; the other is a gentleman infatuated with his youth and birth; Loyola praises and flatters him-for him, he relapses into the Biscayan nobleman."
We must give our readers an extract from the private letters from Germany, already referred to, and which includes an interesting account of the origin of Jansenists
"Meantime we may take a rapid glance at what may be called the "march of disruption" from the Roman hierarchy. We shall, however, have afterwards occasion to notice, that, though united as one great and daily-increasing army, in attacking Rome, it still seems for the present
inclined to maintain a kind of allied clanship under different leaders, which, although as yet the all-absorbing enthusiasm secures concord in the main, and an agreement to differ in minor points, may hereafter be productive of division and consequent weakness; but whatever fears human fallibility and human passions may justify, there are two features in the reformation movement on which we can dwell with undivided pleasurethe adoption by all parties of the Bible as the rule and umpire in all that relates to faith and morals, and the earnest desire, which has been far and wide excited, to obtain Bibles, and thus see and judge for themselves, in how far the allegations against Rome are founded on, and separation from her communion justified by, the authority of Scripture. Pastor Czersky has already applied to Berlin for a supply of Bibles for his people, and for them the Lutheran Bible will suffice; but hundreds, perhaps I may say thousands, of, as yet, unconvinced Roman Catholics, are equally desirous of seeking counsel at God's word, and when the Lutheran Bible is handed to them, they feel no confidence in its genuineness; they have been used to hear it denounced by their priests as adulterated and heretical, and they cannot bring themselves to read what they fear may contain absolute error under the name of truth. What a blessed gift to these hungering souls would Bibles be which have received the approbation of the Roman Catholic Church!
In Breslaw, Schneidmühl, and Leipsic, the Catholic Apostolic Churches are already organized, and the last remnant of their adherence to Rome annulled by the new pastors exercising the functions of baptizing and dispensing the Lord's Supper in both kinds. The formation of the Breslaw congregation into a church, and the instalment of Ronge as its pastor, in which Czersky took a brotherly part, took place on the 9th of March; the services appeared deeply to impress a crowded and attentive auditory. Those who have as yet exercised the peculiar duties of the pastorate, as Ronge, Czersky,
Kerbler, Eichhorn, and some others, are all ordained priests, and there are too many candidates of the same class seeking admission into the German Catholic Church, to leave room for anxiety as to how the wants of the already-formed congregations shall be met; but even should the wide-spreading contagion of reform happily include an ordained priest in every place where it gains a congregation, the question has still been deemed worthy discussion, how episcopal ordination (and many still cling to its traditional necessity) shall hereafter be obtained; and they have turned their eyes towards the Jansenite bishops in Flanders, as a source where such a spiritual desideratum might be sought. Perhaps it may not be here out of place to remind some readers that the Jansenists derive their name from the (in his day) much celebrated Cornelius Jansen, bishop of Upres, in the Netherlands, (obiit 1638,) whose work, entitled
Augustinus," in which the Augustine doctrine of "free grace" was advocated as truly orthodox, having been condemned at the instigation of the Jesuits, and prohibited by a bull of Urban VIII. in 1643, gave rise to violent polemical disputes in France, which thence obtained the name of the Jansenite controversy, and in which, from the year 1661, Louis XIV. saw fit to mingle. Repeatedly condemned by papal bulls, and persecuted by government, Jansenism ceased to be openly professed in France in 1733, although its pure morality and consistent Scriptural doctrine secured it many secret
approvers among the more pious of the clergy, who, by the readiness with which, at the revolution, they took the oath to the constitution, proved they would sooner give up the Pope than their principles. But in the Netherlands alone there continued to exist an avowed and openly-recognized Jansenite establishment, which, in conformity with the resolutions passed in the Jansenite synod at Utrecht, in 1763, does not cut itself off from the Roman Catholic Church, nor refuse to acknowledge the spiritual supremacy of the Pope, but denies his infallibility, and rejecting the bull "Unigenitus, (by which the Jansenites were, in 1713, condemned, and many of them driven to seek shelter in the Nether lands,) and constantly appealing to the decisions of a general council, they hold fast the doctrine and strict morals of the Augustine school, main taining the spiritual worship of God to be the truest index of piety. The Jansenists (who prefer the appellation of Disciples of St. Augustine) have ever since the year 1623 possessed an Archbishop in Utrecht, bishops in Haarlem and Deventer, and a clergy, which, submitting themselves to the laws, and relinquishing all pretensions to external power or wealth, devote their whole energies to the fulfilment of their duties, and to the mainten ance of a well-organized ecclesiastical constitution, whose legal existence and permanence, constantly declared apostate and schismatic by the Pope, they owe entirely to the protection of a Protestant government.
THE AGED CHRISTIAN.
THERE is hardly a sight more lovely, (if so lovely,) than an aged Christian. We see the young sapling, just transplanted, brought into its new soil, full of bloom, and bud, and blossom, and all the promises of blessed fruit; but here we see the breadth of shade -we see the strength of branch-we see the might of its stem-we see it all-majestic-the glory of the forest!
And though it be shorn, and often brought low, and though there may be some deep indentations on its rind -more, perhaps, than we see in the young sapling, yet there is a majesty in it even as it falls; and still it reminds us of Him, who has his eye upon all his "trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.” A. N.
PROTESTANT ORPHAN SOCIETY IN IRELAND.
A PROTESTANT ORPHAN SOCIETY, in connexion with the Irish work at Kingscourt, has been commenced under the management of the Rev. C. Beresford, Bailieboro'; Rev. E. Hamilton, Drumcondra; Rev. G. Hickson, Kingscourt; Rev. E. Nixon, Castletown; Rev. R. Noble, Athboy; Rev. W. Pennefather, Mellifont; and Rev. R.Winning, Kingscourt. The objects to be assisted are the Children of Converts, who have been deprived of either of their parents, and in consequence are left without a home; and the plan adopted is the same as that acted upon by the Dublin Protestant Orphan Society. The children are placed in respectable Protestant families, near a Scriptural school, and under the immediate superintendence of some Evangelical clergyman and his family. Each child is lodged, fed, clothed, and educated for about £5 per annum.
It is well known by those acquainted with the state of the Kingscourt district, that had such an institution existed since the commencement of the Society's operations, several hundred children would have been educated as Protestants, who have been necessarily delivered up to the care of Roman-Catholic relations.
Subscriptions and Donations will be thankfully received by any of the above mentioned clergymen ; by Miss Mason, Old Connaught, Bray, Secretary to the Ladies Auxiliary Irish Society; by any of the Ladies of the Committee of that Society; or at the Irish Office, 16, Upper Sackvillestreet, Dublin.
The Editor of the Christian Guardian will be glad to receive and forward Contributions.
Kingscourt, 15th Nov.. 1844. MY DEAR In the P.S. of your letter you ask, "Have I any hope of the Orphan Institution?" I am happy to say there is not only hope,
but realization of hope. The institution has commenced, and some orphans are now in it. It is, "though truly an Irish," both a simple and economical institution. We have not expended a penny on stone, lime, or timber. We have at once taken the orphans, and placed them in suitable houses; where nigh a school, they will receive suitable literary instruction, and where their physical and spiritual interests will not be neglected. According to our arrangements, we will have each orphan lodged, fed, clothed, and educated for less than £5 a year. We took our first selection from Clontibbert. I think five from that parish are now under the care of Mr. and Mrs. Nixon. Though I have no funds in my hands for this charity, I felt happy to advance £1 to pay for the horse and car that brought them to Castletown. Two of these orphans are the children of poor Conolly, of Clontibbert, whose wife and new-born babe fell victims to the infuriate rage of the Rev. Mr. Tierney, the parish priest, and one of the traversers with O'Connell.
Conolly lives in a remote place, far from any town; his wife was near her confinement; when she took ill, he ran for a woman whose profession was to attend on such occasions, but on the previous Sabbath the Priest having cursed any one who would enter the houses of our teachers, the woman refused to come; the poor husband, agitated and distressed, returned to his forsaken wife, and found her in great extremity; he alone was with her-the helpless babe was born; the poor mother, from want of proper care, had no food for it; the wretched father dressed and fed it for three days, when it breathed its last. "It died, for Adam sinned; it lived, for Jesus died." In want of every comfort, in anguish of mind, and painful suffering of body, the poor mother continued to live but not to move;
under these circumstances, the husband made an exertion to get her into the Monaghan Infirmary; he engaged a horse to remove her, but Sabbath intervening, the Priest renewed his denunciations against Conolly; the man declined giving the horse; he applied to others, they also refused; his poor wife was daily declining, he saw there was no hope for her life if she remained at home; though a delicate man, he in the course of a day, by resting on the way, carried his dying partner to the infirmary, a distance of seven miles, but it was too late; death was certain of its victim, and now poor Conolly, by the curse of the Priest, who by his holy calling ought to bless, lost his innocent babe, lost the wife of his affections, and yesterday, left his motherless children in the asylum of our Orphan babes, which under God, you have been mainly instrumental in forming.Conolly, though very sincere and devoted, is only an ordinary teacher; but he is one of the thirteen heads of families who together came out of Popery, and for several years have borne the storm of the bitterest persecution; he is the man into whose cabin the Priest entered and burnt the Irish Bible, over which the aged woman, his mother, who could only speak Irish, made, in that tongue, such a pathetic lamentation; this was translated and printed in the Annual Report for 1842-3. The other orphans in your asylum, are the children of Stephen Keeglen, who, with your lamented reader, Campbell, died on his way returning from Mr. Pennefather's Irish meeting in July last; he also was a Clontibbert man, he also shared in the bitter persecution of Father Tierney, he also stood firm and is one of the thirteen, who with their families came out entirely from Popery. The last time I saw him was at Fortlans Irish meeting; there both he and Campbell translated and answered questions; poor fellow, he caught cold on the journey, and died twenty miles distant from his home; but his troubles are now all over, and I trust he enjoys the blessedness of those who "die in the Lord," for thus he departed this life, and now
rests in the Protestant buryingground of his parish; there was opposition to his being interred there, but by the firmness of Archdeacon Russell, and the aid of the police, his dust mingles with Protestants, and our beautiful funeral service was read over his remains.
In a letter I received after his funeral, from the archdeacon, he says he has opened a subscription to erect a small monument. I am not superstitious, nor do I think the present the period when the Lord always rewards the righteous and punishes the wicked; still the following chain of facts, known to many witnesses, and especially noted by our teachers, are striking evidences, not only of an overruling, but also of an interfering and retributive Providence. I referred to a priest entering the cabin of poor Conolly and burning the Irish Bible; he was the curate of the parish-his name was Theon. Just three days after he had destroyed the word of God, and declared, with awful asseverations, that after his return from the shore he would burn all the Irish Scriptures in the possession of the teachers he was a corpse. He went to the shore, went in to bathe, and was brought out of the water dead. It was supposed he died of apoplexy.
For a short time, this awful occurrence produced a temporary quiet to our poor lives, but it was only for a short period. Another curate, equally hostile, came to the parish; he, too, threatened and denounced our teachers, and from the altar directed that the congregation should hold no intercourse with Bible readers, and that when they saw them, they should call after them, "Mad dog, mad dog!" For several months, by many they were thus saluted, so that for a time they feared to leave their own doors; but soon they were also freed from this species of persecution. evening, when the curate went home to the priest's house, the priest's large dog attacked the horse furiously, cut him in several places, and tore the arm of the curate's coat. Next morning the dog was missing; he had run off mad, bitten several animals about the priest's house, all of